This is one of the Development Report ive found out there, i hope you will like it!
My name is Matthew Karch and I am the President of Saber Interactive. We are a relatively new game development company based out of New York City. Our development takes place in NYC and St. Petersburg, Russia, where many of our team members reside. We are currently working on our first title, Will Rock, which is being published by Ubi Soft. The game runs on our own technology, the Saber3d Engine, which has been under development for the past two years. I don't want to spend too much time touting our tech, but it really is state of the art. There isn't an engine out there that I would take over ours - it is highly optimized, supports a very large feature set and can render the most detailed of scenes with ease.
Will Rock was born out of an idea to create a technology demo to show off our engine. We wanted to do a little demo that looked really good and was fun to play with. We chose the Greek architectural style primarily because it was rich in terms of visual references and because of Vladimir Chernysh's (our lead artist) familiarity with the style. Once we got going with the demo, we kept adding things to it and tweaking it to make it fun. Before we knew it we had a mini-game on our hands, something that was worth developing further. We put together a plan and came up with Will Rock. We wanted to create a game that was fast, fun and more conventional (less cut-scenes, more opponents) than most of the recent shooters. We met with Ubi in their San Francisco offices and with some of the company's reps in France at Milia (where Will Rock was selected as a competition winner) and we signed a deal to develop the game last year. Since then, it has been smooth sailing. We have a great relationship with our producers - they are very excited about the project and have contributed to it immensely.
I think people are really going to be impressed with Will Rock. We have created a game that pays homage to many of its predecessors, adds a lot in terms of visuals and gameplay. Our goal with this title was to really to create something visually stunning and a lot of fun to play. I think we have really surpassed even our own expectations in this regard. Stay tuned for details about the game in our next segment. And now I will yield the floor to another member of the team...
My name is Anton Krupkin, I am the Lead Engine Programmer at Saber Interactive. I am one of the two guys responsible for creating the engine that runs Will Rock. I have been programming for games for over 10 years. The Saber3d Engine is the third engine that I have built, and is by far the most robust and scalable engine we have made. Our goal with the Saber3d Engine was to create a piece of technology that could compare to the engines that a lot of dev teams pay big $$$ to license. We have worked closely with Nvidia and ATI on optimizations and integration of special features. You can accuse me of being biased, but our engine really does compare favorably to anything on the market in terms of performance and feature set. The engine, in short, ROCKS!
This brings me to our hot new game, Will Rock, the upcoming first-person shooter published by Ubi Soft. Will Rock is the first game to be powered by the Saber3d engine. We have really tried to take advantage of many of the engine's features and it is evident in the game. Our engine supports real time morphing, shattering and desiccation and the game puts these technologies on display in a way that makes sense in the framework of the gameplay. Thus in Will Rock, you will see Minotaurs that regenerate from their gibs, an Atom Gun which melts opponents into a pool of mercury, an Acid Gun which blows up an opponent like a balloon (ala Willy Wonka) and the Medusa Gun which turns an opponent to stone. These weapons are a lot of fun to play with and give the player a unique sense of power in the game.
No one has really done anything like this before and there is a reason for it - it is tough to pull off from a technical standpoint. The following technologies, for example, are employed just for the Medusa Gun effect. Once the gun is shot, a call is made to the particle system to create the "stone cloud" effect; as the cloud impacts the opponent a stone texture covers his body in real-time. Next the opponent freezes and shatters into many pieces. The freezing and breaking parts of the weapon effect are by far the most challenging. First, our shatter system calculates, in real time, break points for the opponent (which are different every time the weapon is used). Then, the opponent breaks apart and our rigid body dynamics system is called upon to calculate, in real-time, the way the pieces of the broken opponent should fall. This all happens seamlessly and the effect is really cool. This type of tech is prevalent throughout the game.
Our goal for Will Rock, from the very beginning, has been to create something that is fast, fun and visually gorgeous. We were not looking to reinvent the genre, just to create a game that, in the style of great fast-paced shooters of the past, looks great and is a lot of fun to play. We wanted to give gamers a ton of gameplay for their buck and we have really succeeded in this regard. We don't bore the player with hours of cut-scenes and non-interactive stuff. The focus is on gameplay and visuals. While our technology enables us to create great visuals, without a talented team of artists even the best tech will fall flat on its face. We have amazing artists with an average of 10 years of experience in the field. In our next segment one of our artists/designers will give his perspective on the game. In the meantime, keep on rockin!